I guess I'm now part of the legion of opinionators on the web who feel the need to write down and publish the crap in their heads about something. In my case, it's training for a few different sports, typically those involving heavy breathing, physical discomfort and lots of calories. Ski mountaineering racing and mountain running will be the primary competitive venues I'll visit. The ideas and techniques can also be extrapolated to related activities like mountain biking, ski touring, alpine and rock/ice climbing and road cycling. I favor training techniques with a long, scientifically-proven track record as well as those sitting on the fringe but possess performance enhancing promise. These include traditional weight and Olympic lifting as well as hybrid training techniques being popularized by CrossFit and their ilk and more refined versions of the same at Mountain Athlete and Gym Jones.
I'll draw my ideas from my own reading and conversations with current thinkers on various topics. The information is out there but often difficult to find and perhaps, sometimes, unpublished. These pages, then, will be another place to find information that may prove useful in your training. I like to think that I have a reason for everything I believe and do but I may be wrong sometimes or at least, misguided and invite readers to set me straight. Be sure to bring documentation to the table.
Oh, who am I? My name is Brian Harder. I'm a board-certified physician assistant working mainly in orthopaedics. I have a B.S. in exercise science and completed a year of graduate work before going to PA school. I'm pretty much a geek about all things exercise related. I've competed in many sports over the years but have committed myself most fully to bicycle racing and skimo racing. I've spent large chunks of time climbing and skiing in various parts of the world and have worked as a climbing guide in the Tetons, Alaska, Himalaya, and South America. I perform best as an endurance athlete but love to push weights around in the gym. I am keenly interested sports nutrition and general wellness and will visit all of these topics randomly in these pages.
As this site has grown, content has shifted more toward gear reviews and trip reports. The interest in training science is still there but the TRs are far less dry.